Steven Universe: The Question
July 4, 2018 5:38 PM - Season 5, Episode 21 - Subscribe

Ruby spends some time with Steven, Greg and Amethyst, ridin' the range an havin' cowboy adventures. She returns with something important to tell Sapphire.
posted by JHarris (18 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Little things in this episode:
- Steven taking the "XS" tag off of Ruby's cowboy getup.
- Amethyst telling Pearl at the end: "It's me. I'm a horse."
- And, especially, that Cartoon Network chose to premiere an episode of a cartoon in which a woman character asks another woman to get married on the fourth of July. Yee-haw, now that's American!
posted by JHarris at 5:42 PM on July 4 [11 favorites]


I appreciate what this episode did and the ending was cute but the cowboy thing felt so forced that not even Charlyne Yi doing a drawly accent managed to make me like it.
posted by Memo at 6:05 PM on July 4


Aww, most people I've read so far (admittedly mostly ultrafans) liked it.
posted by JHarris at 6:12 PM on July 4


I'm a sucker for cowboy tropes so I loved it. I might have to learn how to play Ruby Rider.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 6:32 PM on July 4


Well you're not alone, Sapphire also thought it was pretty farfetched for Ruby to be a cowboy.
posted by traveler_ at 7:46 PM on July 4 [3 favorites]


So in love with The Representation here (completely aside from the fact that it's an ultra-sweet episode and a wholly unexpected twist). Garnet may have been a very visible and positive same-sex couple, but she's also...sort of not visible, in that it's easy to forget that there are two people composing that body and mind. Ruby and Sapphire getting married takes it to a whole 'nother level of explicitly queer.

Also, for the record, the cowboy thing didn't feel left-field to me at all, though I can see how it might.
posted by thesmallmachine at 10:02 PM on July 4 [5 favorites]


Yeah word on the street is this might be the first U.S. kids' show with a gay wedding, which is really cool.

There's also just a general transformation I think here: before Greg the Gems were pretty isolated from human culture all around. But now and especially with raising Steven, they're becoming more Earthican (as it were). Ruby's eating pizza, acting out a cowboy stereotype, and seeking an Earth-style solemnization of her relationship with Sapphire!
posted by traveler_ at 11:13 PM on July 4 [4 favorites]


I regularly listen to Charlyne Yi singing stuff on her instagram and I forgot for a minute that it was her voicing and singing Ruby. But that's how good she was!

I was spoilt by the internet for what was coming for Ruby and Sapphire so the twist wasn't unexpected, but it was still so damn cute. What really stuck with me was that even if Rose/PD was inspired by Garnet to lead the rebellion to also protect independent gems, it was still her permission that lets Ruby and Sapphire be Garnet, so for Ruby to insist that they must be Garnet on their own terms, regardless of what Rose thinks, was really refreshing. And that the current version of Rose, Steven, fully supported whatever Ruby decides, must have felt so meaningful to Ruby.

Also, Greg learning the truth about Rose was just such a casual brush that I had to laugh. "I never told her I used to be Gregory Demayo", was a great line that both exposed how limited Greg understood the hierarchy of gems and how he didn't really mind her past. He expressed previously how shocked he was that she was apparently a murdered, when everyone thought she shattered PD, but he didn't renounce his love for her, because that was still real. And I always love that he just goes along on these adventures to support Steven and the gems. Like, he has his own feelings, but his understanding is limited, so he's just focusing on helping however he can. Although he's still great at talking things out when any of them needs to.
posted by numaner at 11:19 PM on July 4 [6 favorites]


Oh yes. If Greg ever runs out of money he could just hire himself out as a gem therapist. He even helped Blue Diamond that time.

Oh, and I present my favorite frame from the episode.
posted by JHarris at 11:30 PM on July 4 [4 favorites]


Well you're not alone, Sapphire also thought it was pretty farfetched for Ruby to be a cowboy.

When she said yes, I could hear in the performance the slight intonation of "you're being faintly ridiculous with this cowboy stuff but I love you for it".

It's also very par for the course of the show for Ruby to learn about the proposals and marriage as an Earth custom that she could apply to her own life through an beaten up old cowboy comic of Greg's. Steven in particular has a great and endearing love for ephemeral pop culture 'trash' (e.g. getting so deeply invested in the lore behind his favourite ice cream sandwich).
posted by ocular shenanigans at 1:30 AM on July 5 [2 favorites]


Steven in particular has a great and endearing love for ephemeral pop culture 'trash' (e.g. getting so deeply invested in the lore behind his favourite ice cream sandwich).

Hey now, don't knock Cookie Cat. HE LEFT HIS FAMILY BEHIND.
posted by duffell at 8:21 AM on July 5 [10 favorites]


I mean, this could have been an episode about Ruby being a spunky dolphin...
posted by runcibleshaw at 8:21 AM on July 5 [2 favorites]


Cookie Cat is Pink, right?

"Pet for your tummy"--well that's where the gem goes.
"Super duper yummy"--according to Pearl, hey-yo!
"Left his family behind!"--checks out
"Now available...nowhere."--aw damn
posted by emjaybee at 9:33 AM on July 5 [4 favorites]


also also I love that since Amethyst got her stuff sorted out, she just decided to support Ruby and was like "IMMA BE A HORSE" for most of the time. checks out.
posted by numaner at 10:46 AM on July 5 [8 favorites]


This is such a sweet episode. Ruby has a lot of good points about the nature of their relationship, and how Ruby has never really had a chance to find out much about herself as a person. Rose's injunction that they never question Garnet has meant they don't get to question themselves, to grow beyond just being the parts of Garnet. So this is a good episode to me.

And as for Greg, well, he may have had an epic moment of wtf, but he's a good enough dad to not drop that on his kid. Like Amethyst, he appreciates that Steven is still just a kid and doesn't need that extra weight. Because Greg is Best Human.
posted by Jilder at 11:17 PM on July 5 [2 favorites]


Obviously Lars is Cookie Cat.
posted by sleeping bear at 9:14 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


Toddler update: She's obsessed with Ruby Rider and requests it constantly ("RUBY RIBER!"). I have it memorized now due to repeated viewings. She likes to sing along: "dissole... ruby riber... izruby ribin alonnnnn"
posted by duffell at 3:54 PM on July 10 [3 favorites]


On rewatch: during "Ruby Rider," horse-Amethyst can be seen in the background, eating a clump of grass. Because of course she is.
posted by duffell at 4:23 PM on October 1 [2 favorites]


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